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Monday, May 14, 2012

The Asifa: What Do We (the other half) Do?

(Blog is not dead, but blog owner is just feels that way has a intimidating backlog of subjects to write about)

[Update:  I have heard the audio, thank you Gil Student, and the word "whatever" sounded different in person.  I listen to the back and forth and I got the message "the internet is evil" but I did not get the message that there is an understanding of the modern workplace.  I know others in that time warp too, and sometimes I'd love to revert to a time where moving to a Smith Corona from an electric IBM and a 3-way conference was progress.  Today's workplace is simply different including the location and there is a lot that could be discussed in terms of boundaries on work and home, e.g..  I don't believe in big splashes--much more effective would be actual discussions among professionals facing similar issues-- or in calling things a blanket "evil".  A big splash event won't do much besides make big headlines and get people excited with no place to go.]

There is a lot of virtual ink being spilled about the now famous internet asifa at Citifield taking place this coming Sunday [direct cost:  estimated at over $2,000,000; indirect cost:  babysitting, time away from work, transportation of the 40,000 guests].  I guess everyone is wondering just what will be said at the "discussion" in where a community response is to be "formulated" [link:  Wall Street Journal].  At this point, no one knows who the speakers will be, so I can understand the speculation and curiosity.

Personally, I'd rather discuss what has been said, not what hasn't.  Unfortunately HaModia doesn't archive its news feed, so I will just pull a quote in regards to something that has been said to promote this asifa with apologies that I can't link to the entire piece:

That goes not only for family people, but that is one of the main reasons we feel that bachurim need to know everything there is to know about how careful one has to be. Because a bachur will eventually become a yungerman and a yungerman after his chasunah, his wife [may have to] bring in the internet because of her job or whatever it is, and he won’t know what to do. He won’t have it in his bones the terrible danger that this is, how dangerous it is for him and the rest of the family. 


"Because of her job or whatever it is"  (oh how I despise the word "whatever"). . . .. . . . We live in an age where the local Orthodox Rav lives under the shadow of the super-Rav/Gadol Rav.  The super-Rav no doubt has seen tremendous destruction, some of which many very well have been exasperated by internet usage, but the Gadol Rav might not be too familiar with the day to day life of the average Orthodox woman (i.e. the economically productive person in the above scenario being blamed for bringing the internet into the home for "whatever it is").  


The Gadol Rav can put together a gathering of 40K.  The local Rav probably has a better idea in regards to the "whatever."  


So what does that woman do?  


Well, she might telecommute or run a business from her home full time.  She might put in a few days from the home.  She might put in evenings from the home.  She might need to access educational resources for her children because she has a second job known as "homework."  She might run 3 or 4 carpools in one day all while putting in time in her "office."  Today, that was me.  I woke up and found a note in my inbox that a client needed something for a meeting this afternoon.  I already had another deadline on my plate that I hadn't met on yet.  I spent 45 minutes working to prep my day while the kids got dressed and ate.  Then I loaded everyone into the car and pulled into one school parking lot at 8:15AM and dropped off carpool 1, picking up carpool 2.  I ran two errands with carpool 2, dropping off carpool 2 at their stop.  When I got home, I had a sleeping infant and knew there was no way to meet either deadline if I moved said child.  So, I parked in the driveway and ran inside to grab my laptop, parking as close to the home as possible and worked until the nap was finished.  Thank you to those who developed Wi-Fi.  You help us pay tuition in the strangest ways.

I met my deadline, came inside to keep working, ran another carpool, and got lucky when everyone decided to play and color quietly, allowing me to work and bill 2 more hours and make a short post.  In about 15 minutes, the day continues with the after school rush of dinner, cleaning, and facilitating the "whatever" of the rest of the day.


I'm not complaining, but I have to wonder just what type of relevant advice can even be offered if the woman's job is a "whatever", i.e. not understood.  


And with that a good bye.  Happy afterschool routine to my fellow readers.

19 comments:

Noodle said...

Some advice:
(1) Stop reading Hamodia. Same for Yated.
(2) If you do read it, remember that in the jewish press there are no ombudspeople or watchdogs of any sort. No one is making sure they quote others properly, so even direct quotes have no meaning. The Yated had a front page story of a godol saying something that was proven to be total hogwash. (i.e., Rav Chaim K proved that a Bar-ilan search program had an error.) The apology two weeks later was strange to say the least.


best wishes on your tough day(s).

MIghty Garnel Ironheart said...

Having Daas Torah means you don't have to know what the little people actually do.

tesyaa said...

One thing your post reminded me about yeshivot is that they engender the maximum number of carpools. Kids from one family usually go to different schools (preschool in one building or a playgroup in a private house; girls' building; boys' building; different dismissal times for middle school - enjoy having a 4:00 pickup and a 4:45 pickup on the same day - your infant will love that one!)

Convenience of parents (and as you point out, ability to hold down a job) is NOT a priority for yeshivot.

car pool dad said...

Sorry but they need to have different pick up times. Did you ever go to school on a day with one pick up time? it takes longer than two, or at least it seems that way! Having hundreds of kids in diff grades all coming out at once is a disaster.

Avi Greengart said...

Who is going to teach the women looking for a job "or something" the dangers of work-at-home get-rich-quick schemes promoted on the Internet*? Why is the Rabbinate so focused on porn for men?

*http://www.theverge.com/2012/5/10/2984893/scamworld-get-rich-quick-schemes-mutate-into-an-online-monster

JS said...

Sorry to hear you've been so busy lately.

I wonder how much of this directly affects you though. If you subscribe to the fact that a "local rav" and "super-rav" have the right to proscribe every aspect of your life no matter what, then I suppose it does affect you.

I feel silly even writing the words "super-rav" and I would feel even sillier abiding by the rules that emerge from this asifa - especially given all the background information coming out about the people and forces behind it.

But, forget about this Internet nonsense for a moment. The attitude towards women is a part of this story that really gets no attention.

There's a lot of Stockholm syndrome going on here - or, better, battered woman syndrome. I really wonder how much longer women are going to put up with the constant denigration and belittling and lack of respect all while being asked to do more and more for the men.

tesyaa said...

Did you ever go to school on a day with one pick up time? it takes longer than two, or at least it seems that way! Having hundreds of kids in diff grades all coming out at once is a disaster.

This may be true, but many public schools have larger student bodies than yeshivot; how do public schools manage it?

aunt of nephew aka female life actuary said...

This may be true, but many public schools have larger student bodies than yeshivot; how do public schools manage it?

It's called busing (at least here in NY)

Yael Aldrich said...

Then try using the example of your local X County Day School, a small to medium secular/non Jewish religious school. They all don't have buses or busing.

Gil Student said...

You can hear R. Matisyahu Salomon say exactly the quote in this post by calling 1-732-551-3351, press 2 and then 1. It's far in the interview but he says it. But I think you are reading too much into the word "whatever".

Mark said...

car pool dad - Having hundreds of kids in diff grades all coming out at once is a disaster.

I know of some public schools with more than 2000 students, most of which finish school at the same time. And even if a large school such as that has 3 staggered finish times, that's still about 700 students finishing at the same time.

bat mitzvah gift said...

Teenage girls are tough to motivate.

Anonymous said...

Gotta love this. Someone is selling two Asifa tickets on Ebay auction now at $105! Not bad for a small profit of 500%. But using the Internet (Ebay) to sell tickets to an event that bashes the Internet just shows you how shallow this will be.

Mr. Cohen said...

Our righteous and honorable Rabbis are very zealous to attack television and the internet; and sometimes those things deserve to be attacked.

Where are the Rabbis who advocate for kosher consumers by criticizing kosher supermarkets, kosher take-out food stores and kosher restaurants that charge rip-off prices that are sometimes double the prices of their non-kosher counterparts?

Where are the Rabbis who advocate for kosher Jews by criticizing landlords who charge sky-high blackmail rents to their hapless tenants?

Where are the Rabbis who fight to expose crooked tzedakah collectors and unworthy Jewish non-profit organizations who extract millions of dollars from generous but gullible Jews?

Where are the Rabbis who defend vulnerable Jews from nursing homes that charge insane blackmail prices that make their owners millionaires many times over by making their customers bankrupt and penniless?

Where are the Rabbis who work to keep arba minim prices reasonable?

ClooJew said...

I think you have to get over the two million dollar cost. How much do Jewish organizations spend to get their message out? It costs money. Your real problem is the message not the millions.

Besides, think of it this way, it's one-tenth of a percent of what JP Morgan lost in two weeks!

Anonymous said...

Short correction of typo: You typed "exasperate" when you meant "exacerbate." So close, and yet so far away!

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